I’ll boast here.  I’ve gotten several compliments on my new overcoat, which makes me feel good.  But what makes me feel better is that it was free and it reminds me of my friend Therese. I got her coat at a naked lady party.

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Strictly speaking, the ladies aren’t naked, they have on underwears, generally. And actually, they’re dressed most of the time, trying on each other’s clothes and deciding what to take home, getting new clothes “new to them.”

Here’s the scene in Jasmine’s living room: a nice little buffet of snacks and cookies and gingerale and stronger stuff, some groovy music in the background, and ladies dropping in the front door carrying big ole bags. Of clothes.

After a bit, we circle up on couches and chairs and one by one, start presenting our clothes to the group.

I’m pretty psyched at Therese’s turn: she’s about my size & has similar tastes.

She starts fishing in her bag & presents: “Pants, medium, Gap, just not my style anymore.”

Darts? Not my style either. But another woman in the room likes ‘em.  ”Hey, pass those my way!” And Kim drops her own pants to try Therese’s.

It’s a match … Kim looks good and Therese unloads some pants she hasn’t worn in months.

That’s the value in the naked lady party. Pants worth zero to Therese move down the block to Kim’s where they are greatly valued.

Hey, it feels good to buy things.  No point trying to pretend it doesn’t.  But … it seems to me a good find at the naked lady party is as rewarding as a match at the mall.

Therese dives in again: “Yoga sweatshirt, Old Navy.”

No takers there. The shirt gets dropped into the middle of the room. Later, all the stuff with no takers goes to Goodwill.

Next, a grey/mauve herringbone wool coat!  Me and Jessica blurt out at the same second: “hey, nice, lemmee …”

We look at each other and smile …

“Naked Lady Party” is a local name for a thing that’s called up North a “Bitch ‘n Swap.”  Cause when two people want the same item up North, they have to verbally compete to argue who needs/wants/deserves it more. Throw a nice leather jacket into a den in New York and there may be words.

But here, Jessica says, “hey, I just got a blazer, you try it.”  And I say, “but it’s your color!”

At some point I am quite distinctly urged to try it.  And I do.  And it’s great. And it’s mine.

About 90 percent of the clothes brought into the house will exit toward Goodwill. I myself brought 7 or 8 things and left with only one.

It felt good to shift some stuff out of my closet, though I was vaguely offended that nobody wanted _my_ coat that’s just not my style anymore: 3/4 length, camel color, from Benetton (via Buckhead Thriftique.)

Some people bring mounds and mounds of things, apparently saved up since the 80s. Some people like me only bring a few things. Some bring maternity clothes, tall lady clothes, big lady lady clothes, petites, ugly stuff, mom jeans, maternity clothes, even bras and swimsuits. These things all have takers, though I recommend inviting ppl of your general taste and age to your party.





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